NEWMARKET, Ontario—AirBoss of America Corp.'s plan to grow via acquisitions or mergers is rapidly gaining traction.
For the second time in less than a year, the company has purchased a business that will expand the firm's size and reach. In this case, AirBoss plans to buy custom rubber compounder Ace Elastomer Inc. for an estimated $42.5 million. The transaction closed Aug. 31.
In October 2020, AirBoss completed its other recent major acquisition—paying around $70 million to buy the remaining 45 percent ownership of AirBoss Defense Group (ADG), a venture it co-owned with Critical Solutions Holdings L.L.C. They formed it in January 2020 through the merger of AirBoss defense products operation and Critical Solutions International Inc.
Shortly thereafter, ADG made its own mark on the acquisition trail when it completed a transaction to buy Blackbox Biometrics, the developer of the Blast Guage System of lightweight bearable blast overpressure sensors which are used by Special Forces, Army and SWAT teams in the U.S.
"We anticipate (Blast Guage) will be a future growth opportunity for this segment," said Chris Bitsakakis, president and chief operating officer of AirBoss.
AirBoss' latest deal to acquire Ace will boost AirBoss Rubber Solutions' (ARS) position in the North American rubber mixing market, especially in the color compounds segment, he said.
Ace operates mixing facilities in Rock Hill, S.C.—where the firm is based—and Chicago that provide design, formulation development and custom compounding of proprietary elastomer compounds across the natural and synthetic polymer range.
It offers a wide range of custom mix compounds for a number of different industries, including the belting, rubber roller and printing sectors, and for custom molding and extrusion applications.